About the Writers’ Guild
The Prince Edward Island Writers’ Guild (PEIWG) is a dynamic organization dedicated to promoting the growth and quality of literary arts on PEI. It was founded in 1989 by a group of writers to unify literary programs such as writing workshops and readings, to create a formal intersection for discussion and action, and to speak periodically as one voice for the Island’s literary community. We are proud that our members are at a variety of stages in their writing careers, and that our membership is affordable so that anyone can join. After receiving queries about membership options from ‘non-writers’ in the community, we were delighted to add a Friends of the PEIWG category.
The PEIWG is a registered, not-for-profit organization that operates with funds from membership dues and fundraising. We have a charitable tax number that allows us to issue tax-deductible receipts for donations. The PEI Writers’ Guild also receives support for specific projects from the PEI Department of Tourism & Culture.
Board Members for 2015-2016
- President: Keir Lowther
- Vice-President: Keith Burgoyne
- Secretary: Lori Mayne
- Treasurer: Cindy Midgley
Members at Large:
- Michael Conway
- Richard Furlong
- Bruce McCallum
PEI Writers’ Guild
81 Prince St., Charlottetown, PEI
Activities and Programs
In addition to facilitating open mics, organized readings, community partnerships, maintaining an active Board, and holding regular meetings including our yearly, well-attended AGM, we also maintain the following:
Island Literary Awards: For over 25 years, the Island Literary Awards (ILAs) have recognized the best in Island writing with cash awards sponsored from the community, for winning entries in short story, poetry, children’s literature, and creative non-fiction categories from writers of all ages. Many past award winners are now published authors. The 2015 ILA awards ceremony will take place in the early fall 2015 – details to be announced as arrangements are finalized. The Island Literary Awards and the PEI Writers’ Guild are vital to fostering a culture of writing on Prince Edward Island.
Workshops: The PEIWG offers at least two to three workshop series tailored to meet the needs of the writing community. The fees charged are modest; most of our workshop leaders kindly do this work on our behalf for far less than scale. PEIWG members receive a reduced rate on any events with a fee. In January 2014, Donna Morrissey was the workshop leader. The workshop, in partnership with the Department of English at UPEI, was a great success. In early February 2014, the Department of English (UPEI) invited Don Gayton, agronomist, ecologist, nature and science writer, creative non-fiction writer, novelist, and wine-maker, to give two workshops on nature writing, in partnership with the PEI Writers’ Guild. Both the Morrissey and Gayton workshops were extremely well-attended and well-received. Stay tuned for the rest of 2015’s workshop lineup.
Partnerships & Advocacy: PEIWG represent the interests of Island writers to a variety of organizations such as the PEI Council of the Arts, the Writers’ Union of Canada, the Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia, and the PEI Cultural Human Resources Sector Council. We also form partnerships to deliver various projects, opportunities, workshops, and readings to our members and the public, together with organizations such as: the Friends of the Confederation Centre Public Library, the Confederation Centre Public Library, the Confederation Centre Art Gallery, the PEI Provincial Library Service, the PEI Association for Newcomers to Canada, the UPEI Department of English, the Tasmanian Writers’ Centre, the Canadian League of Poets, the Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia, the Institute of Island Studies at UPEI, the Atlantic Book Awards Society, the UPEI Robertson Library.
Writers in the Schools Program: In previous years, the PEIWG arranged and paid for author visits to public schools to inspire children and teachers about the act of writing. Authors were matched with a teacher through a specific set of program guidelines developed over the years.
Teachers had time to discuss and collaborate on the author’s presentation if they so desired, and sometimes writers would address specific curriculum components. This program is generally funded by PEIWG with matching funds from the PEI Department of Communities, Cultural Affairs and Labour. It is free to students and teachers. PEIWG hopes to reinstate this program sometime in the future.
Mentorship Program: Every second year or so, the PEIWG offers a mentorship program in which at least three emerging writers (mentees) are matched, through a selection process, with published authors. They work together over a three-month period on the mentee’s writing. This is a very popular program with many more applicants than we can accommodate. Each year this program has run, subsequently at least one of the participants goes on to have work published—the true measure of the importance of professional mentorship.